Dear fellow members,
I can say without a doubt the paramount thought in my mind is that we at NYC have lost some very fine members of our club in the past few months.
Over my 34 years as a senior member of NYC I have grown to know and respect many of my fellow members; sometimes we have debated with passion over an item that we have disagreed about, or we have strained muscles together to move a cradle or to place a boat in correct position in the slings at launch. Afterwards, we share a beer and celebrate our success. Like any family we have our highs and lows, but boy do we miss our friends when they finally leave us.
Now, this is not intended to be an obituary, nor is it intended to be a sad article. This is a salute to my fellow members past and present. We should celebrate the wonderful camaraderie and fellowship we enjoy at NYC. Be kind to each other, you are all special.
As your Commodore for this past season I have had many duties to perform, without doubt the most poignant moment was the casting of the wreath at our Sail Past. Eleven roses floated into Humber Bay, each representing a member and friend who had passed away in the previous year. I knew every one of those members and I found the duty humbling and emotionally charged.
Over the past few months we have said our final goodbyes to three very special members; Bob Yeates, Ian Hunter and most recently Doug Creelman. I would not consider myself qualified to write a detailed article honouring these members, however I would like to add a personal remark about each of these fine gentlemen.
Bob Yeates served twice as the Commodore of NYC. We used to tease him that he must be a glutton for punishment. Over the years, his dedication and volunteer efforts as a member and board member was incredible. Until the day he passed away he was the chair of our advisory board and during that year he helped me a great deal providing guidance and advice in my role as Commodore. I will always cherish our final journey in Sin Fin when she was towed across the harbor. I am grateful for that very special opportunity for one-on-one conversation with Bob.
Ian Hunter was a member of our club for a short time compared to some of our other members, but he was a remarkable example of a member who totally embraced our NYC volunteer program. Many of you will recall him serving hours on end as the traffic controller for Launch and Haul-out; He also worked diligently for the dock committee and regattas. Ian was a very talented single-handed sailor, as my neighbor on dock 75 I would see him sail in and out single handed with his remote control helm, I would offer to help with lines, but honestly wondered if he was just being polite accepting my help – he certainly didn’t need it. Ian was totally reliable and an absolute gentleman.
My first experience with Doug Creelman was in a protest room. He chaired the committee and I am pleased to say that this committee found in my favor, so I was happy. On another occasion, the results were not so favorable. This encouraged me to learn more about the sailing rules and I can say that this has helped me to become a better sailor. Thank you Doug for encouraging me to learn the rules.
Last Year Doug and his wife Lynne were awarded the Ontario Sailing Associations President’s Trophy for outstanding contribution to the development of sailing in Ontario. They were also awarded our NYC Race Committee Flag Award for bringing international recognition to club.
Doug’s role as a volunteer in the sailing community was huge, and we are so privileged to have had him as such a dedicated member of our yacht club.
All three of these gentlemen in their own way have contributed to making the National Yacht Club the special place we all enjoy. Let us celebrate their contribution and appreciate and remember them. Raise a glass to them the next time you’re in.
Commodore of the National Yacht Club